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Bridging the Gap: The Quest for Media Literacy in Irish Education

Bridging the Gap: The Quest for Media Literacy in Irish Education


Lucia Mesquita, Lusófona University & Dublin City University
Ricardo Castellini da Silva, Media Literacy Educator


In Ireland’s digital era, media literacy emerges as a vital skill amid rampant misinformation. Our study scrutinises Ireland’s educational system, unveiling deficiencies in media literacy education. Although recent initiatives show promise, challenges persist in formalising media literacy within national policies and teacher training programmes. This research advocates for a structured approach to developing media literacy to empower citizens and effectively combat digital influence.

Key words: Media Literacy, Ireland, Teacher Education


In today’s digital landscape, where information flows freely and digital platforms hold significant sway, media literacy is crucial. Our study, “Navigating Misinformation through Enhanced Media and Information Literacy in Irish Education: Current Landscape and Future Directions,” examines the current state of the Irish education system in addressing misinformation and digital influence. This research builds on the initial Media and Information Literacy (MIL) education and training for teachers’ report, promoted by the TeaMLit Project.

A key deficiency in Ireland’s educational system is the lack of emphasis on MIL. Despite elements of MIL being present in the curriculum at both primary and secondary levels, systemic shortcomings persist. Media education in schools faces challenges in ensuring consistent skill development among students, and teacher training programmes need a more comprehensive focus on MIL to prepare educators for the digital age.

However, media literacy has recently gained prominence in national discourse due to concerns around disinformation and online safety, presenting an opportunity for transformative change. In 2016, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), replaced by Coimisiún na Meán in 2023, launched a Media Literacy Policy to empower Irish citizens to make informed media choices. The BAI also facilitated the creation of Media Literacy Ireland, promoting media literacy through national campaigns and training programmes. Additionally, the Department of Education developed a short course on Digital Media Literacy, now offered as an optional subject in many secondary schools. These initiatives show progress, but formalising MIL within national educational policies and teacher training programmes could provide a more structured approach.

Our study employs a three-stage research design—literature reviews, desk research, and stakeholder interviews—to explore MIL education in Ireland. We found a varied landscape of MIL-related modules in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), but many are optional and lack a critical approach to digital media. Mandatory MIL courses are necessary to address the complexities of the digital age effectively. Examples like Dublin City University’s multimedia production and social media literacy modules highlight the potential for comprehensive MIL education in teacher education.

NGOs and media organisations play a crucial role in providing MIL training to educators, especially for in-service teachers, but their reach is limited. Initiatives like the Adult Literacy for Life strategy and programs offered by Webwise and CyberSafeKids provide valuable resources but face scaling challenges due to logistical and funding constraints.

Quantitative analysis reveals significant gaps in MIL coverage within teacher education curricula. Qualitative insights highlight a fragmented landscape where theory often fails to translate into practice. The TeaMLit project, funded by the European Media Information Fund (EMIF), identified gaps and promoted coordinated approaches at the national level. Research indicates that MIL education is often taught in a cross-subject manner and rarely integrated into the core curriculum, relying heavily on teachers’ individual expertise and resources.

Despite policies addressing MIL in various countries, few formal approaches are embedded in national policies. When such policies exist, they often lack coordination and practical materials. Reports note numerous efforts but few concrete examples of formalised teacher education in MIL.

In Ireland, the quest for media literacy, especially in combating misinformation, is ongoing. Key stakeholders are increasingly committed to supporting its development in all sectors of society, including education. Formalising MIL within teacher training pathways and forging partnerships are crucial strategies to address these challenges. By redefining its approach to media literacy education, Ireland can pave the way for a more informed and empowered society.

List of links:

TeaMLit Project:

Media Literacy Police:

Coimisiún na Meán:

Media Literacy Ireland:

Digital, which was Media Literacy:,ycle/short-courses/digital-media-literacy/

Adult Literacy for life: